Municipalities Newfoundland & Labrador (MNL) has launched a new website today, aimed at inspiring people to run for council. Ever wondered how to go about being a councillor, what the job requires of you, etc? Click here: www.makeyourmarknl.ca.
MNL’s motivation to launch the website was “to encourage more candidates to come forward for municipal office.” They’re outright saying “there is a growing concern that we will not have enough candidates to fill all the seats [in certain municipalities].”
MakeYourMarkNL.ca contains videos, testimonials, and resources that will “help people understand the Why and How To become involved in municipal government.” This involves not just running as a councilor, but also things like how municipal government works, which you should know as a citizen.
“The #MakeYourMark campaign is our call to action,” says Karen Oldford, President of MNL. Karen is herself a mayor: she’s been the boss of Labrador city for 3 decades now.
“Make Your Mark should inspire everyday residents to make the leap into municipal government and tip the scales in favour for people not yet decided to run for council,” she says.
“If you’re thinking about throwing your hat in the ring, this site is a good place to pick up some planning tips and other resources you’ll need along the campaign trail.”
MNL is mandated to represent and support all 276 municipal governments in our province. According to Vital Signs 2016, we really do need to be encouraging more engagement with local-level politics. During the last round of municipal elections, 25% of municipalities were unable to fill all of the positions on their council!
There’s also a well-documented disparity of representation on council. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities recently reported that only 37% of councillors were women … and here in NL, only 3.5% of councillors are 35 or under!
They also state the obvious. “Having strong and vibrant municipalities starts with having a strong pool of candidates for municipal elections,” and “Municipal councils are better when people of different backgrounds, occupations, age, and gender are involved.”
If you’re considering a run, let all of this inspire you to finally throw that hat in the ring.